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Ohio Valley prep sports feel effects of coronavirus

WHEELING — The coronavirus pandemic continues to alter the Ohio Valley prep sports landscape.

Three Northern Panhandle schools have issued new edicts in dealing with the virus.

Brooke, Wheeling Park and Weir all have delivered updated policies.

Brooke has suspended all extracurricular activities until July 20. That decision was made despite no Bruin student-athlete reportedly having tested positive for the virus.

Ohio County Schools, meanwhile, are looking to take extra precautions in response to W.Va. Gov. Jim Justice pushing back the start date for fall sports to Aug. 17. In the process, the first week of WVSSAC football games have been eliminated.

Ohio County Schools Assistant Superintendent Rick Jones released the new guidelines over the weekend: They are as follows:

¯ If a coach or athlete travels overnight outside West Virginia, they will not be able to attend Ohio County Schools practices for 14 days upon their return. This is required for fall sports and strongly encouraged for all other sports.

¯ If there are specific situations that need to be discussed, players should contact their respective head coach. The head coach will work with the administration on the issues.

¯ Athletes who play multiple sports should only attend their fall sport practices and workouts.

The release went on to say that Ohio County Schools officials will continue to monitor practices and work with the health department to make informed decisions. Jones urges everyone to follow state and local guidelines in order to have fall sports.

Jones stated that anyone with questions may contact him at rajones@k12.wv.us

The Weir High administration placed athletics on hold Monday and today. Several Red Rider student-athletes are awaiting COVID-19 test results.

An update is expected today regarding activities for the remainder of the week. All Weir school facilities were closed to students and coaches Monday and today.

Ohio, meanwhile, plans to start the 2020 football season as scheduled, despite rumors to the contrary. A story by ThisWeek Sports on Sunday indicated a group of Central District high school football coaches has proposed moving football to the spring while baseball and softball would be switched to the fall.

That report met with swift and vehement opposition later that day.

The Ohio High School Football Coaches Association released a statement saying, it “makes proposals to the OHSAA regarding football” and “We have been guaranteed a ‘seat at the table’ if and when decisions need to be made about adjusting the football season.” The statement added, “While we wait for further information from the governor’s office, we are in agreement with the OHSAA for the starting date of Aug. 1. The OHSFCA will continue to be proactive as we gather information regarding other possible changes during these unprecedented times.”

The first weekend of Buckeye State regular-season football games is set for Aug. 27-29.

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